PWT Knoxville - Day 1 | PWT Knoxville - Video
Several New Titlists Are Crowned After Knoxville Pro Tour Stop
Knoxville, Tenn. – The top professional wakeboarders from throughout the globe hit the waters of Volunteer Landing today in downtown Knoxville to compete in the fifth and final stop of the 2011 MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink. This year, the Pro Tour finale also doubled as the final contest in the eight-event King of Wake and Queen of Wake series, which meant twice as much was on the line for riders in Knoxville.
The Pro Men division highlighted the event, with top seed Phillip Soven and Aussie phenom Harley Clifford battling it out, as the top two contenders for both the Pro Tour title and the King of Wake crown.
Soven, 22, of the Longwood, Fla. entered today’s contest with a 45-point lead over Clifford in the Pro Tour standings and quickly secured the 2011 Pro Tour title after winning his semifinal heat.
“Coming into today, I knew I had the Pro Tour title all wrapped up,” said Soven. “But I still wanted to make it into finals to win the last Pro Tour stop.”
While Soven had a considerable lead in the Pro Tour standings, the defending King of Wake champion was only ahead of Clifford by a mere 10 points in the King of Wake series and needed a win today to keep his crown.
In the finals, Soven launched an arsenal of technical and big-air tricks, including a massive whirly 720, crow mobe 540 and a toeside 900 in effort to keep his crown.
But Clifford’s blind Pete Rose, front mobe 540 and a toeside 900 helped him edge Soven 85.00 to 80.00 to win his first-ever King of Wake crown.
“There was so much pressure today in the finals with Phil [Soven] and I 10 points apart,” said Clifford. “But I was able to stand up my pass and come out ahead of him. I’m so pumped to win the King of Wake. It’s something I wanted to do for the last three years.”
Clifford, Soven and Rusty Malinoski round out the top three, respectively, in the King of Wake series.
The final Pro Tour standings saw Phillip Soven in first place overall, Harley Clifford in second place and Bob Soven in third place. The 2011 Pro Tour title marks Phillip Soven’s fourth overall title of his career – the third most in the Pro Tour’s 20-year history. Only wakeboarding legends Darin Shapiro and Parks Bonifay have more, with six and five titles, respectively.
The Pro Women division hosted its last round of action in the Queen of Wake series, as six finalists battled it out for the final win of the season. Top seed Amber Wing failed to advance to the finals, which left many fans wondering who would come out on top in Knoxville.
After taking down Wing in the semifinals, all eyes were on 13-year-old standout Taylor McCullough to see if the Illinois native could duplicate her run to win her first-ever Pro Tour contest.
But it was four-time World Cup titlist Raimi Merritt, who came out swinging with big tricks, like an S-bend, Tootsie Roll and two 540 variations to post the winning score of 78.33.
Today’s win marks Merritt’s first-ever Pro Tour stop victory.
“It feels awesome to win,” said Merritt. “I’ve been on Tour for three years and to finally win a stop is amazing. I’ve just been working on my consistency and to see it pay off, especially at the last stop of the year, gives me a lot of confidence heading into next season.”
Melissa Marquardt and Nicola Butler rounded out the Knoxville podium, respectively.
Despite missing the Pro Women finals, Aussie Amber Wing finished first place overall in the 2011 series to claim her first-ever Queen of Wake crown.
“I’m super stoked to win Queen of Wake,” said Wing. “It’s been a long, tough season and to see all the hard work pay off is really awesome.”
In the Jr. Pro Men division, young gun Mike Dowdy made his Pro Tour finals debut today against Kyle Evans, Daniel Powers and current points leader Shota Tezuka.
While Dowdy turned heads after landing a Moby Dick 540 in his first-ever Pro Tour final run, all eyes, however, remained on Daniel Powers to see if the 17-year-old Orlando, Fla. native would stretch his winning-streak to four consecutive Pro Tour stop victories.
All four Jr. Pro Men finalists threw down impressive runs, but Power’s heelside 540 off the double up lifted the 2011 Masters champion to his fourth straight Pro Tour stop victory.
Shota Tezuka and Mike Dowdy rounded out the podium, respectively.
Despite finishing in second place in Knoxville, Tezuka edged out Powers by seven points in the overall standings to capture his first-ever Jr. Pro Tour title.
“I can’t believe I won the Tour,” said Tezuka. “When I first started the season, I never expected to win. Now that the season is over, I’m going back home to celebrate and start training for the pro division next year.”
Tezuka is the first Japanese born rider to win the Jr. Pro Tour title.
For more info on the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, visit prowakeboardtour.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour stop in Knoxville will air on the VERSUS television network on Oct. 4 at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Fla., and has the support of the following sponsors: MasterCraft, Rockstar Energy Drink, Overton’s, Indmar, Peavey, Billabong, Hyperlite, CWB, Ronix, Liquid Force, Byerly, Oakley, Sayiwon’t, Epiphone and TransWorld WAKEBOARDING magazine.
MasterCraft is the exclusive towboat for the Pro Wakeboard Tour, as it has been since the tour’s wakeboarding events began in 1992.
About Rockstar Energy Drink
ROCKSTAR is the world's most powerful energy drink. Enhanced with the potent herbal blend of Guarana, Ginkgo, Ginseng and Milk Thistle, ROCKSTAR is formulated to provide an incredible energy boost for those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles - from athletes to rock stars. ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK is available in eighteen amazing flavors: Original, Sugar Free, Zero Carb, Juiced Mango Orange Passion Fruit, Juiced Guava, Juiced Pomegranate, Tropical Punched, Punched Citrus, Roasted Mocha, Roasted Latte, Roasted Light Vanilla, Cola, Recovery Lemonade, Recovery Orange, Recovery Grape, Pink, and 2X. ROCKSTAR ENERGY SHOTS are available in Wild Berry and Tropical Punch flavors. ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK is available at convenience and grocery retail outlets across the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Mexico, the Philippines and throughout the United Kingdom. Go to rockstar69.com or facebook.com/rockstar for athlete and event updates, videos, profiles, and product information.
Indmar is the world's largest privately held manufacturer of gasoline powered inboard marine engines. Indmar Marine Engines have led the market on dependability, longevity, and performance for decades.
About TransWorld WAKEBOARDING Magazine
TransWorld WAKEBOARDING magazine is the leader in wake-sports media by delivering the best instruction, latest product reviews, insider knowledge and the finest photography. TransWorld WAKEBOARDING accurately defines the wake-riding lifestyle by offering a broad range of content, which helps wake enthusiasts become better riders and enjoy their time on and off the water.
Sunday, August 28 Results:
Pro Men Final
1. Harley Clifford (AUS) - 85.00
2. Phillip Soven (USA) - 80.00
3. Rusty Malinoski (CAN) - 75.00
4. Dean Smith (AUS) - 65.00
5. Jimmy LaRiche (USA) - 55.00
6. Adam Errington (USA) - 85.00
1. Raimi Merritt (USA) - 78.33
2. Melissa Marquardt (USA) - 66.67
3. Nicola Butler (GBR) - 62.33
4. Tarah Mikacich (USA) - 58.33
5. Taylor McCullough (USA) - 46.67
6. Emily Durham (USA) - 28.33
Jr. Pro Men
1. Daniel Powers (USA) - 87.75
2. Shota Tezuka (JPN) - 87.00
3. Mike Dowdy (USA) - 84.25
4. Kyle Evans (USA) - 81.00
Pro Men Semifinal (top three in each heat advance)
1. Harley Clifford (AUS) - 78.333
2. Adam Errington (USA) - 68.33
3. Dean Smith (AUS) - 63.33
4. Shane Bonifay (USA) - 59.33
5. Bob Soven (USA) - 41.67
1. Phillip Soven (USA) - 86.67
2. Rusty Malinoski (CAN) - 76.67
3. Jimmy LaRiche (USA) - 55.00
4. Steel Lafferty (USA) - 50.83
5. Austin Hair (USA) - 21.67
Jr. Pro Men Semifinal (top two in each heat advance)
1. Daniel Powers (USA) - 89.00
2. Kyle Evans (USA) - 88.25
3. Dylan Prideaux (AUS) - 81.00
4. Tony Iacconi (AUS) - 80.25
5. Gordon Harrison (USA) - 61.50
1. Shota Tezuka (JPN) - 97.25
2. Mike Dowdy (USA) - 83.25
3. Freddie Wayne (USA) - 82.00
4. Marc Kroon (NED) - 71.00
5. Robby Holihan (USA) - 66.50
Pro Men Quarterfinal (top two in each heat advance)
1. Rusty Malinoski (CAN) - 75.00
2. Jimmy LaRiche (USA) - 63.33
3. Aaron Rathy (CAN) - 58.33
4. JD Webb (USA) - 53.33
1. Steel Lafferty (USA) - 76.67
2. Austin Hair (USA) - 66.67
3. Shaun Murray (USA) - 60.00
4. Kirby Liesmann (USA) - 51.67
1. Bob Soven (USA) - 73.33
2. Dean Smith (AUS) - 61.67
3. Joey Bradley (USA) - 48.33
4. Kyle Rattray (CAN) - 38.33
1. Harley Clifford (AUS) - 80.00
2. Adam Errington (USA) - 70.00
3. Andrew Adkison (USA) - 63.33
4. Danny Thollander (USA) - 40.00
1. Phillip Soven (USA) - 76.67
2. Shane Bonifay (USA) - 58.33
3. AJ Racinelli (USA) - 50.00
4. Shawn Watson (USA) - 41.67
PWT Knoxville - Day 1